Student Organization Membership Policy

Effective Date

Monday, September 12, 2016

Office of Primary Responsibility

Division of Student Affairs

Affected Parties

All Students

Policy Statement

No undergraduate or graduate student organization or team recognized or sponsored by Dartmouth College shall differentiate expectations, activities, rights, or responsibilities among its members on the basis of seniority. There can be no period or category of membership during or by which members have a lesser status.

This policy does not prevent an organization that operates a residential facility from using a priority system to assign housing or any organization from establishing experiential qualifications for leadership positions. The policy also does not prohibit students from having different roles in an organization depending on their experience, training, skills, etc. that directly relate to the legitimate goals or mission of the organization or team.

History and Guidelines

This policy was adopted in 2015 at the direction of President Hanlon as part of a larger initiative to reduce high risk behavior.

The sponsoring department of each student organization is responsible for:

  1. annual dissemination of this policy to their student organizations, teams, and advisors
  2. monitoring compliance
  3. holding groups accountable to this standard through appropriate measures up to and including permanent loss of recognition or sponsorship, and
  4. reporting to the senior student affairs officer in their respective school any alleged violations of this policy, the steps taken to investigate, and outcome of their process

This policy is a companion to Dartmouth's hazing policies. Any individual who has information about hazing or other conditions of membership based on seniority should report their concerns to the director of the sponsoring department, via the Dartmouth Ethics and Compliance Hotline, or to the Department of Safety and Security by calling 646-4000. Sponsoring departments must also refer reports of possible violations to the Department of Safety & Security and to the conduct process in their school. Departmental action to investigate and respond to such a report does not supersede independent action that may be taken by a conduct officer or board in the applicable school or program.